How to Save and Sell Big on Craigslist

My husband and I are addicted to Craigstlist! I think I developed the addiction from my husband actually. The reason… you can find some amazing deals on there!

How to Save and Sell Big on Craigslist

Before we go any further, lets just make it very clear that you HAVE to be careful when you are buying or selling on Craigslist! Here are a few don’ts to keep you safe:
• If it sounds like a “too good to be true” deal it probably is.
• Its best if you can meet in a public location (well populated parking lot) especially if you are selling. You don’t want strangers knowing where you live.
• Never buy or sell anything on Craigslist by yourself. Always have someone else you know with you.

If you keep all these warnings in mind you can save some major dough when searching Craigslist. We have used it to purchase many cars, furniture, baby items, stroller, bikes, kids birthday gifts, outdoor sandbox, car parts, camping supplies and the list goes on and on.

When you walk into our house it would be very rare to find something that we bought brand new. Either it was purchased on Craigslist used or it was a hand-me-down. I am kinda proud of that! Just like the Duggars say, “Buy used and save the difference!” (Yep, I am a huge fan of that awesome family!)

So here are a few tips on how to get the most out of using Craigslist:

Post your ads on Late Thursday Night or Early Friday Morning
Doing this will keep your add at the top of the list for the weekend. Most buyers search for deals on the weekend. So posting on Fridays early in the afternoon, around 1pm, will give your post the most exposure to potential buyers.

If you are selling this is the best time of the week to post and refresh your ads. To refresh your ad means you have previously posted and are refreshing to get it back to the top of the listing page.

Free section
Oh how I love this section! If I could I would check this spot on Craigslist every hour! When there is something good on there and it’s for free… It is going to be gone fast! So you need to hurry if you want it!

If you go under the “For Sale” section scroll down and you will see a “Free Stuff” section. When I am looking here I don’t put in any filters. I just look at everything listed. You never know what you will find! Kinda exciting right?

Check often
Just three days ago we bought our first minivan! We need to make room for number three on his way! Anyways, my husband is the king of finding great car deals on Craigslist! It took us about a week of searching before we found the one!

I will say that I think it was a huge blessing that we found this amazing deal but the hubby stayed on top of his game with this one! He used his Craigslist Pro app and consistently checked for new van postings in our criteria to show up. He probably did a quick scan hourly.

This might seem a little extreme but when you are looking for a smoking deal, especially on a high priced item like cars, you need to be aggressive. It turned out that my husband saw the posting just a few minutes after it had been posted. There was an option to text and call. He did both.
It turned out that within the first hour of the seller posting the deal we were one of 5 people to contact them. (It was that good of a deal!) But we were the only ones to call and we went to go look at the van as soon as the seller was available. Point being, check often and move fast!

Craigslist Pro app
There is a free Craigslist app but the Pro version has way more features that are well worth the $2.99 one-time fee! You can save your favorite posts you find. This feature is handy if you really like a post but are still trying to collect more information from the seller.

One of the features we love about this app is once you have looked at an ad and decide it is not something you are interested in, you can double tap to cloapse the ad. So the next time you open the app to look you can easily see what is new.

You can also save searches. This is one of my favorite things to use the app for. Because we are such avid Craigslist shoppers, I have a list in my phone of things I am on the look out for. Mostly furniture and garden items in my case. The hubby’s phone probably has more automotive searches saved. This way every time you go into the app to search, you don’t have to do a manual search for every item you are looking for, all your favorite searches are all ready for you in a nice easy to read list.

Things aren’t always what they seem
Ask lots of questions. Don’t be afraid to try every little thing out. . When we were looking for our van we did actually go look and test-drive one other van. It was gross inside and the engine ran like it had just been to a demolition derby! Maybe that’s a little dramatic… But you get the picture right?

The seller promoted it on his ad like it was top of the line and luxurious inside. Wrong! Don’t be afraid to walk away and say “No thank you.” Of coarse you can’t forget your manners! Even if they wasted your time…

If it’s a hot deal, jump on it
Just like in our search for our van, if you see a hot deal that seems realistic, you cannot afford to wait. Do everything you can to contact the seller (call, text, email), go see it ASAP, and make an offer. If you go see it and love it don’t go home and “think about it”. You already know it’s a great deal.

There have been a few times that we weren’t able to jump on a great deal and we really missed out. Cue the sappy sad music… Like this beautiful piano I found in the FREE section of Craigslist one day. Between family being out of town and the other half being very sick I didn’t have anyone to help me go get it. Tear! Isn’t she beautiful? Supposedly she was in great condition as well.

Learn from my loss! Do everything you can to make a great deal happen!

Negotiation is a lost art here in the United States. Pretty much any other country in the world uses negotiations or bartering as a normal part of the purchase process. We consider all prices on Craigslist negotiable. Some people are stuck at their price. If it is worth it to you to pay that then go for it. But there is no harm in asking for a lower price tag.

Yes, some people may get offended because they are emotionally attached to the item for some reason. Don’t let that discourage you. Be willing to walk away if the deal isn’t what you are looking for. Unless you are looking for a long lost, one of a kind item, there will be more fish in the sea. Opportunities pop up all the time. You just need to be patient!

Cash Talks
Get all you chicks in line before you go to buy an item. Make sure you have the cash you need in your pocket before you even go see the seller. There have been plenty of times that we have tried to negotiate over the phone before we go see the item but the seller is firm on price. But once we get there with cash in hand they change their tune. A lot of time, Craigslist sellers just want to get rid of something and want it out of their house as quick as possible. Those types of sellers LOVE cash!

Follow these tips on how to take full advantage of Craigslist and you are sure to save and sell BIG the next time you use Craigslist.

Make sure to check out my Link Parties page to see where I share all of my ideas and get inspired by other bloggers!


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  • Valerie@Occasionally Crafty
    March 18, 2015 at 8:25 am

    Really great tips! The one time I’ve tried to sell on CL the only response I got was a scammer. Boo. But I have had great success buying!

    • Brittany Cooper
      March 21, 2015 at 9:57 pm

      You did need to be careful of scammers when you are both selling and buying! You make a great point! Good luck in the future using Craigslist and let me know if you need help!

  • Shannon Peterson
    March 18, 2015 at 8:55 am

    I LOVE the free section! I’ve scored some pretty awesome stuff on CL, but I always make sure to meet in the daylight in a very public place just in case!

    • Brittany Cooper
      March 19, 2015 at 7:55 pm

      Such an awesome place to find great deals! You just have to be patient some times… Easier said then done! I have been looking for a secretary desk for over a month. Still no luck (in my price range)

  • Camesha
    March 19, 2015 at 1:43 pm

    Great tips! I’ve never even used Craigslist. It could be a great resource though as we do some Spring cleaning around here.

    • Brittany Cooper
      March 19, 2015 at 7:52 pm

      Oh you will love it once you start using it! Let me know if you have any questions! My husband and I literally use it all the time!